While enhanced connectivity has an impact on virtually everyone in the world, it can be especially difficult for the Executive Protection industry, which is charged with the task of recognizing and handling existing and developing risks. One of the biggest challenges arises from one of the most dominant corporate trends – globalization and the increased access to information that accompanies it. Here are some of the most significant challenges executive professionals can expect to face in 2018:
The complexity of the corporate world is growing faster – and the nature of security right along with it. The world is technologically more complex than it was even a couple years ago, which presents opportunities as well as risks. Executive professionals must not only be prepared for physical security concerns, but also cybersecurity risks. This makes executive protection a systemic effort between security teams, IT, human resources, legal departments, and more. Corporations are complex systems of moving parts, all of which influence and interact with one another. Security professionals must be prepared for threats that emerge from all levels of an organization, as well as both external and internal.
To make matters even more complex, people also face a constant barrage of new information, whether it’s from multiple news sources or the internet. This leads to key challenges in protecting policy makers and corporate influencers. The current political climate, including an increase in terror attacks and growing inequality of income, drives unrest. This makes it more difficult – but also more essential – for security professionals to manage both existing and emerging risks.
Fortune 500 companies operate in dozens of markets around the world, some of them politically or socially volatile. Intelligence analysis efforts will be necessary to provide effective executive protection, but it also comes with inherent risks. With the use of technological intelligence analysis comes cybersecurity threats, so all levels of the organization must be prepared to address these accompanying threats.
Executive protection agencies will become even more qualified in 2018 as corporations realize their business value. Security professionals often have to wear many hats throughout the course of duty and may have to add more – such as technology aficionado – as security needs become more complex. Expect qualifications for entry in the EP profession to rise in 2018 – previous EP experience and other soft skills will be essential in addition to law enforcement or military experience.
As globalization continues to be a corporate trend, the need for EP will increase, not only to high level executives, but also to lower level personnel and service technicians. The EP industry must be prepared to meet these demands while maintaining high levels of quality and service.
The executive protection industry faces unique trials in the year ahead. By becoming aware of the complexity of our evolving world and how we access information, EPs can better prepare themselves for service and rise to meet the challenge.